Tuesday, November 12, 2019

It seemed like just yesterday....

 Actually, it WAS  only yesterday.

Veterans Day 2019 has a nice highlight each year with offers of free meals for vets and First Responders.

Eli Hymn, the owner of Hyman's Seafood downtown, came through again with his offer of a "thank you for your service"  Free Meal up to $20.

Driving downtown, I was thinking of such past treats as his fried Flounder but also have enjoyed his Shrimp & Grits.

This time I was seated downstairs at the bar around 5:30 and it was not very crowded. The bartender said they were VERY busy at lunchtime.

Two others came in and mentioned the Veteran's Special.

As the server went through the choices of what came with the grits, I heard salmon was an option. Had always gone with shrimp but this time I opted for the salmon patties and grits.

That was a favorite meal my Mom would make and I am glad I chose it!

I paid for a beer with my free meal and even bought the new Hyman's souvenir cocktail glass for my evening Jameson-on-the-rocks.

His offer was appreciated and I made sure to add a tip based on the actual total cost.

Usually, I tip at 20% and today was no exception.

Great meal, fine friendly attention and a sincere "Thank you for your service."

My mother would have liked that.

Click on the photos and the links for more detail. Thanks for sharing a holiday Monday with me.

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Sunday, November 03, 2019

Day by Day...and a night or two

A few weeks ago, my paper landed in my yard instead of my porch. 

This has happened before - a substitute carrier or something.

This time, after 7 days of clumping down the stairs and walking around barefoot on the dewy grass, I tried calling Circulation to complain. After 5-6 minutes of hearing "Your call is important to us," I hung up and sent a stinging email about my wish to have my paper on the porch OR CANCEL IT!

I prefaced it by saying that, as a 20-year subscriber, I have heard your daily circulation has dipped dramatically and your Sunday run now has slipped too, so you MIGHT think I am serious and important to you.

Meanwhile, I'll take a peek at the paper online but I think that would encourage them to dismantle the presses and go all online only. I'd rather be a thorn in their side and protect the jobs of longtime pressmen.

Saw the Chick Corea Jazz Trio last night in our fancy 2000 seat Music Center. Signs were posted saying "no photos," but, sitting in the 6th row, I don't know what those behind me were doing but I used my phone to discreetly snap a few.

....until the sweet little old lady seated next to me whipped out her cellphone and fired off three shots with the harsh and startling double-flash each time!

Anybody else like me who had sneaked a photo, quickly put away our phones as two ushers thundered down the aisle to find the "bright" but not discreet culprit!

She was simply told "no photography."

The dire warning signs implied she would be grabbed and man-handled from her seat and dragged screaming up the aisle in front of the shocked Jazz music lovers who didn't have the nerve to attempt taking a (non-flash) photo!

I often wait for the last song and snap a photo  when the audience stands and think "Will this be the time they kick me out NOW?"

I do like how my new phone caught the action onstage only 6 rows away.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Two monitors...no waiting.

 As I get back in the habit of sitting at my computer and posting on my blog, it might be a good time to flashback to how it all started.

Let's see, I retired from the local paper in 2004. Yay...retirement.

No longer "working for the man" and able to call my time my own.

No boss...no work schedule..,ummm, and no paycheck.

Divorced, my children grown and off on their own, no family at home to worry about, I agreed to move in as my Mom's roommate because she didn't want to stay there alone after my dad died.

I blogged about that adjustment for both of us.

For the next 10 years, I could either have home-cooked Mom meals or stay out as long as I wanted. She was happy, I was glad to be with her and my blog was reflecting our shared good times.

The computer shown above was not mine. My first venture online was a Brothers Word Processor.

It too used discs to store things but it wasn't a "real computer." I had used it though, to create and print resumes when I was job-seeking.

The flip phone on the left never really existed and was something I saw online as a bit of cyberspace humor.

My sense of humor liked the reminder that I grew up with a dial phone (our home number on Society Street was 5924) and I even recall us being on a party line!

I'm still looking for the "handset" I stashed somewhere.

I bought it as a joke to plug into one of my first "non-flip" cellphones.

It really did work like an old-timey headset, with the advantage you could talk and listen.

 ...and hand it to someone and say "It's a call for YOU."

As a photographer, I "retired" large SLR-type cameras and opted for a pocket-size Canon P/S.

I was aware that phones were getting better and better at taking photos and yet, no camera existed that could make a phone call.

I finally did get a real computer made by GATEWAY, their boxes distinctly spotted with black and white Holstein cow markings.

A simple setup with, I recall,  a "giant" 17" monitor.

I went through an expensive phase of buying different sizes of color paper - and pricy color inks - to have photos to show, hand out and send to others.

The color printer was relatively inexpensive but devoured color inks like crazy. Finally, emails became stable - quickly outdistancing the old FAX machines - and our phones now could show photos in great color so there no longer was a need to make prints to share!

My "home office" setup evolved nicely when I bought a brand new desk.

My old one was a WWII era dark wooden desk with a hidden compartment taking up the left side that would store and pop-up the typewriter when it was  needed.

I had bought it VERY used for $20.

My new light-blond beauty had four pull-out drawers and two deep ones for hanging files!

It even had that clever small shelf that would slide out to show the keyboard and mouse.

Ah, but my life changed the day I visited a friend and saw that he had TWO monitors.

What a concept..work on photos on one side and write copy on the other side.

I even found a bargain 32-inch CURVED Samsung monitor when I bought a new Dell XPS 8930 computer.

"Sure, put that in the cart too" It had been 6 years since I had bought my last Dell PC. Lots of changes in that length of time!

So, here I sit now, going back into the past to gain traction to pick up blogging again.

It had been several idle months.

I would think as I attended a music show or met some interesting people, that THIS would make a nice blog item.

And then not follow through.  Look out, I'm back!

Thanks for stopping by. Let's make that a habit again. 

Click on the links and photos for more details.

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Saturday, October 19, 2019

Possibly In my Senior years plans..

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Not sure of the color but saw this as a smaller vehicle just to zip around town instead of driving my car all the time.

Well, maybe a weekend trip to Darlington Speedway...

My almost 14-year old Saturn goes 0 to 60...eventually.

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Friday, October 18, 2019

A visitor from the North..... well, Carolina.

 So, I have this new online buddy who lives just about in the middle of North Carolina.

He mentioned he likes to drive - and that's good - because he's about 200 miles north of me.

I found he was not kidding about getting behind the wheel and taking off.

After we chatted quite a bit, I invited him down for a tour of my hometown.

Over several months, he has come down for four weekends and we have enjoyed many activities like musical comedy, and a mystery theater where I got to play a role and have actual lines from a script.

I prepared and did a good reading, getting the laughs I wanted.

(I have been doing work as an Extra in tv and movies filming here - and in Savannah - and this was the first time I had a chance to actually speak as an actor!)

His nickname is Simon and we both have beards.

Well, his facial hair has been growing for SEVEN YEARS. In a crowd when we pass people, someone will remark "Hey, man that is a helluva beard!"

I usually look back and say "Thank you."

He just rolls his eyes at my antics.

Having a beard so long - both in time and length - he wears it in several different ways.

It pumps up wildly when just shampooed (as seen above) during a windy Blues Weekend up in Camden.

Many of the bluesmen had beards so we felt very much at home there.

During one weekend here, I took Simon by the downtown Beard Shop, just to get their reaction!

On this day, he had "toned down" the bushy effect but the three bindings drew comments from passers-by.

Naturally, I did my silly quip each time.

It's nice having a buddy new to Charleston and being able to show him the sights - and sounds - of my hometown.

He liked the acts that Shrimp City Slim had put together for his 23rd Carolina Downhome Blues Festival annual Blues in Camden.

The t-shirt this year featured "Cacka-Lacky's" own Drink Small, the 86-year old Blues Doctor who killed them in concert! Had folks dancin' in the aisles.

Most recently, we went to Charleston Music Hall to see the Scottish stand-up comedian Craig Ferguson. (Click this link!)

Simon hadn't heard of him despite Craig hosting CBS's Late, Late Show for ten years.

Well, Craig, his robot side-kick and Secretariat, the 2-men-in-a-horse outfit, did step away from the show five years ago.

He has been touring and hosting some game shows...but I remembered him well.

Well, after the almost 2-hour show ended, Simon and I headed back to my car parked at the corner on King Street.

 BUT...we were distracted there by a gentleman sitting on a stool, surrounded by parrots and other "birds" ...as the Brits say.

Several giggling young co-eds, each with a bird on her head, shoulder or hand, were communing with avian Nature!

I suggested that Simon get in the act and they both did well..a pirate look ..Aaarrgh!

And no pecks or bites on his neatly-braided beard.

You know the drill with my blog..click on the links and the photos for more details. Thanks for stopping by. I promise to post more often!

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M-o-w-n doesn't souind like t-o-w-n

I was a bit surprised yesterday to see a VERY large tractor-like machine idling across the street from my house. Stretched out behind it was a huge grass mowing apparatus like I have seen in use alongside freeways, taming the overgrown grass and making everything neater. 

Usually one sees a sign signaling "Mowing Ahead." No such sign on my street but I figured it out and approached the driver's door and saw he was eating a white bread ham and cheese sandwich as the engine idled with a rumble.

Or, maybe the sandwich was to quiet HIS stomach?

He popped open the clear plastic door to his air-conditioned cubicle and I asked if he was mowing the right of way today? He wiped his chin with a napkin, smiled and said he was and they do it about every 5 or 6 weeks.

"My lawnmower is not working and I wondered if you could mow the area on both sides of the sidewalk in front of my house, cutting the grass closer to my chain-link fence?"

He answered he could do that for me, although usually, the city did just the edge by the street. I thanked him and went home to get my camera and be ready when he mowed the rest of the block and turned to come back. 

I watched him finish the other side, make a wide turn and rumble back my way.

Sure enough, as he neared, he lowered and extended the cutting blades and neatly trimmed the grass in front of my house, gave me a wave as he veered back out to the normal path and clattered away. 

He had told me this would probably be the last time for 3-4 months, resuming again after winter when the grass would be growing up again.

Wonder if he will remember me and my request for a wider swath on this street in front of this house?  If I hear him coming next year, I'll probably offer him a sandwich.

It has been a while since I did a post on my blog.

Let's just say I have been busy.

A retired guy sez he's busy..doing what? Sleeping until noon?

Well, NOT mowing my lawn, that's for sure!

Not that I HAVE much lawn these days. To even out some low spots in my back yard that formed puddles when it rained, I had TWO truckloads of dirt delivered and dumped out back!

I took a fake shot of me with a shovel and a wheelbarrow but a neighbor - who also had dirt delivered - came over with his  John Deere tractor.

And we (uh, he) moved the dirt around as we tried to remedy the formation of rain puddles.

Still mainly a dirt yard so not too excited about getting my lawnmower running again.

After both of our yards were level, he attached a mesh screen behind his old lawnmower, added bricks for weight and began dragging it around.

And around and around and around Then it was my turn to do the dragging....smoothing the surface.

Click on the photos for more detail. 

Been a while, I almost forgot my standard close.

Have not even thought about buying grass seed yet.

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Sunday, July 21, 2019

An Observation....

Apparently, this is how a family these modern days can all get together for a downtown Saturday Brunch without pesky interruptions from a child.

I assume he was with the others at the table.

However, his folks could have departed and he was left behind.

He would not know until the battery on his Smartphone needed charging.

I mean, people nowadays have to be reminded to look in the back seat when getting out of the car to make sure a dog - or God forbid - a child -  is not left sweltering in a locked car at the Mall.

It's almost a certain death sentence this time of year!

I did not realize such thoughtless and dangerous abandonment was epidemic until I started to push
open a door recently to enter Citadel Mall.

Not the expected "Thank you for shopping at the Mall!" but a reminder to look at your hands to see if they are holding onto your small child.

Or count how many children are with you in case one was late getting out of his or her car seat and now was locked in the quickly warming car.

If so, maybe a more observant adult would see the child trying to escape and somehow summon help or simply smash the car window.

 Seems to be in the news very often these days.

Child and/or pet rescued from steaming car by an alert passerby. Yay!

As I said, just an observation on how things seem to be happening these days.

Stay cool and BE cool.

I have been remiss in writing about a LOT of music and comedy I have enjoyed recently.

This posting is a reminder we live in perilous times if we don't pay attention.

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Thursday, July 11, 2019

It was a hard day's night....

OK, last night was a lot easier than the night before.

I did not win in either team competition, but it was a lot less strenuous!

Tuesday involved heavy balls and having to wear tri-colored shoes, personally autographed by someone named Ashley.

Her last name was Lanes..sort of like Lois Lane, Clark Kent's main squeeze, but very different.

Wednesday night I remained seated the whole time, fingers crossed that my number was up.... over and over, for hours.

Well, once I got up and asked a cute young lady behind the bar for a beer and I gave her fifty dollars...... 

....Then I waited for my change and went back to my seat at the 8-person team table.

Well, technically, 7.5 because one gent had brought his 5-year old son. Apparently, it was his night to babysit his boy....so he tagged along at the Frothy Beard Craft Brewery BINGO Night.

Neither the 5-year old - nor I - won a game (he was not allowed to actually play) but he did point out I had not covered a number on my card that had been called. Thanks, Kid. The youngster paid more attention that I.

Those two left early (the dad said he did not drink when his son was with him) and the six of us played on.

A team lady on my left screeched BINGO and my hearing slowly came back as the caller came over to verify it was an actual win. 

The final game of the night required that all spaces had to be covered and the room quieted as the numbers being called dwindled. I needed only three..when another team lady announced she had all the numbers covered!

Glad that the youngster was no longer there with us as the room erupted with all sorts of obscene taunts! She was the one who only had shouted BINGO, the rest were other 5-letter words and even a few 4-letter ones!

I had nursed my four 4ozs "flight" of four different brews. I gave the team a hug or a handshake and headed home, not nearly as tired as from the bowling alley at Ashley Lanes the night before.

Thanks for re-visiting a few places with me. We ought to do that more often! What I mean, is I should be posting more often. And, I will.

You know the drill by now, click on the links and photos for more details. 

Be careful and stay out of dark alleys and avoid being in the gutter.

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Thursday, June 20, 2019

When is water "heavy?"

Image result for What exactly is heavy water?
It has been a month since I have posted on my blog so let's start with a very recent winning moment

By recent, I mean last night in a neighborhood bar, playing TRIVIA with a team of young people.

My being older means I have experienced more stuff and - fortunately -  was able to recall arcane facts.

The greatest moment was when a query was "what is it called when an isotope of hydrogen is replaced by one with more neutrons?"

For some reason, I recalled it was called 'heavy water" and was used as a moderator in nuclear reactors.

A collective "Huh?" went around the room as nine other teams scratched their collective heads while my team jotted down my answer and took it to Nick Buchholz, host of Team Trivia of Charleston.

Another good use of my aged memory was related to my coverage of the Charles Manson trial for CBS Television News as a Researcher for four months.

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At first, the name Lynette Fromme did not ring a bell when it was asked "who did she attempt to assassinate in 1975?"

Ah yes, now I remember.

Her nickname was "Squeaky" Fromme and she was one of the girls in the Manson Family.

She had tried to shoot President Gerald Ford.

Cha-ching! Another scoop for us in the room.

(I used to put on my resume that I had spent four months with Manson. It usually got me at least a query to  explain that connection.)

At the halfway point in the Trivia contest, we placed a dismal 10th in a field of 10. Hmmm.

My answers above happened in the second half and made a difference as we surged to be in First Place and win $50. Yay!

As usual, the bar divvied up the award for all five of us with a statement it could NOT be used that night.

In fact, the signed  "receipt " from partner Glen Jeansonne, of Neighborhood Tap House, states I need to pop back in for a free craft beer before the 4th of July.

So, here is a long-overdue posting to get me back on my blog again.

Thanks for playing along with my Trivia experience.

Click on the photos and links for more details.

Stay tuned for a recap of some comedy and music shows I've seen.

As well as a mystery theater where I was a participant with a printed script.

It's good to come back as a winner!

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Saturday, May 18, 2019

It seemed so much larger when I was there...

Have never tried to copy an online photo into my blog before. But, this Super-Ultra-Aerial of Ireland really caught my eye.

I sincerely believe the embedded credit to the crew of the ISS should be sufficient! I am NOT claiming I took this. Would not be able to step back this far. Haha.

I was discussing with a friend my two-week trip to wander all over Ireland and disclosed a gaffe I made  MORE THAN ONCE when getting into the small vans often used for sightseeing tours.

Checking my camera after a round of touring a site, and heading back to the van, I would open the passenger-side door and be confronted with a steering wheel!

Others in the small group who had seen me do this before. would snicker as I quietly closed the door and scooted around to the left-hand side of the very Irish vehicle.

I was in Ireland for two weeks and, after a while (almost 7 days), I would approach the vehicles correctly.

To my credit, I never made this mistake when entering a tour BUS.

I always felt safer in a large bus, looking down at the oncoming traffic.

Especially when it appeared to my American eyes, that there was nobody behind the wheel!

Oh, then I would see there was indeed a driver, on the other side of the front seat.

Whew. Close one. This is a short posing, triggered by the ISS view of all of Ireland.

(Click on the pictures for more detail.) Thanks for a disjointed drive down MY memory lane.

Come again. I'll drive.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The laughter lingers...

Back on October 17, 2010, I was very pleased to see Tim Conway at the Charleston Performing Arts Center (PAC) do a 3 pm Sunday Matinee (he knew his audience!)

Half the parking lot that day was designated as Handicap parking. 

The Matinee ended in time for the "older" audience to get to the Early Bird dining discount meals in the area. Nobody there had a camera and I am certain, there were very few cellphones.

Tim did the offstage voice to introduce himself and told the audience to take all the photos and videos they wanted. Even using a flash would be OK. 

Safe bet and a funny bit!

He did the inept, numbed dentist routine - still VERY funny - and Dorf the diminutive duffer stood tall. 
He had the "sound man" demonstrate how an echo effect is achieved. 

He opened with a funny question and answer session a la Carol Burnett before the show started that also was hilarious! 

It was a really fine afternoon show and I am pleased I got a few pictures that I just pulled up from my files to share. 

Enjoy  - this is my personal Tribute to a terrific comic genius!

(Click on the photos for more details.) 

Thank you for coming along to revisit a memorable show by a man who will always be known as a GREAT funny man!

Thank you Tim Conway!

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